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Hot Topics 86: First Australians

Hot Topics 86: First Australians

Cover image of Hot Topics First Australians

This Hot Topics looks at the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, how they are defined and where they live. It examines the socio-economic profiles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in relation to health, education, housing, employment and criminal justice. A section on the Constitution provides an historical perspective, and concepts of self-representation, self-determination and sovereignty are also discussed.

About the author

This issue of Hot Topics is written by Professor Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. Dr Behrendt is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues.

Copies of this Hot Topic issue are also available in your local public library.


Chapter one


Diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - where do indigenous people live.

Chapter two

Keeping culture strong

Language - continuing cultural engagement.

Chapter three

Indigenous socio-economic profile

Health - education - housing.

Chapter four

Indigenous people and the criminal justice system

Deaths in custody - policing practices - sentencing - other issues.

Chapter five

The Constitution

Historical overview and 1967 Referendum - Racial Discrimination Act - constitutional change - comparative table.


Hot Topics 86: First Australians. Hot Topics is intended as an introductory guide only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, the Legal Information Access Centre does not assume responsibility for any errors or omissions.

© Library Council of New South Wales 2013. Copyright in Hot Topics is owned by the Library Council of New South Wales. Material contained herein may be copied for the non-commercial purpose of study or research, subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).